“Win the morning, Win the day”

The biggest ‘fitness lie’ I told myself was “I am going to do that really high intensity session after work”.

When work is over and you get back home or wherever you are supposed to be, the last thing you want to think is HIIT. It happens sometimes though, mostly on my days off when I am rested and fresh. However, considering I end up working on my projects 7 days a week sometimes, it is a wrong assumption I would go exercise in the evening.

This is where the power of habits comes in place. 

“Win the morning, Win the day” – something that can describe my morning habit. An energising morning session is something that gives me that fuel and productivity to perform well for the rest of the day. 

I have to admit I was not always a morning person. It was a big big effort to get me out of bed. It sounds like a miracle for me now. It doesn’t matter if I had a big day/night before, my body clock and earned habit of ‘getting up for energy’ gets me out to start my day early. 

Although, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep and staying hydrated. Experts suggest adults get between seven and nine hours of solid sleep in order for our brains to function at their full capacity. And no, that’s not lay in bed for two hours scrolling on Instagram before having a few hours of interrupted sleep. You can still go out for a party or events (due to a nature of my lifestyle, I do attend a lot of events) and still perform well next day but you need to balance it well. For example, I would not go for a really hard/high intensity session after long day followed by long night out, however, something like 6 kms outdoor jogging is something that helps my body to get back on track and detox itself. 

The other part of my morning habit is consuming at least 500ml of water during or after a morning training session as long as it is before breakfast and coffee. 

BEPPY – OITA 別府市

Oita is the true Japanese capital for rugby. As soon as we got off the station, we were met by friendly statue of man captured playing rugby. A lot of sculptures and monuments inviting visitors to join overall cheering for rugby games. As a true fan of rugby (lol!), I wore rugby jersey and I believe this is what attracted the local SBS to ask me for an interview just on the street. They asked me who I was, what I thought of rugby in Japan, who I supported and what was my dream. It was amazing chatting to them. 

Oita is the South of the country. I picked straight up palm trees on the streets – that little reminder of Australia and my first association with Australia when I arrive there over 5 years ago. 

The area is very touristic due to its hot springs. Beppy contains world biggest amount of hot springs/onsens in the world. Based on them, the government has built heaps of special tours for visitors that are quite costly. 

On the way to Beppy we took a short half a day trip to Fukuoka, Hakata. Nice and lovely area with small temples around. This is the destination I shall start my blog with:

Hakata-ku 博多区

Hakata is one of the oldest cities in Japan. It is also famous for its seaside wharfs and ship industry. The government of Hakata started to invest in development of ship tourism in the area and it has been going well for decent 5 years. Regular port calls are coming from world famous cruise companies like Royal Caribbean – this industry makes the area one of the richest in Japan. 

We have literally had 4.5 hours to spend there so we managed to visit local shrines and a couple of shopping malls. Hakata is a great example of what visitors and fresh tourists need to know about visiting Japan. Moreover, I have collected some interesting facts below throughout the whole trip so far.

  • CASH CASH CASH – if you get used to operate with credit cards, change your habits in Japan. You might get away with your card in busy Tokyo, however, smaller cities have a lot of cash only places. Save your time and effort and get cash within first couple of hours upon arrival if not beforehand; Japan understands that it needs to move away from cash operations and trying to encourage its citizen to use more their credit cards – it hasn’t been accepted by the majority of the population yet; However, you may get 5-10% discount off if you are paying with credit card but many places are still cash only;
  • GUILT-FREE SWEETS – when you dedicate yourself to a healthy eating plan, you still want to get out of the plan and try some tasty treats. When you are overseas, it is almost impossible to avoid it as you want to try new things (Curious Me!). I have been reading labels of some of the Japanese treats and sweets, fortunately, found out that their treats/sweets contains lesser sugar and calories than Australia and Russian ones. Maybe they are made from rice flour and/or replaced some sugary and artificial add-ons – I don’t know (my Japanese is not strong to read it), however, the fact is the fact. You can be guilt-free when you try some awesome sweets in Japan;
  • CAPSULE HOTELS – so cooooool (never tried though lol). If you are not after fancy hotels and just need to drop your head for some rest, you can literally be checked-in in a capsule that looks like the time keeping capsule from Futurama cartoon. These “hotels” are located next to bus/train stations and night life areas;
  • 7/11 is good for SNACKS only. If you want/need to get food from 7/11 – best rule is try to avoid 7/11 labelled food. Say, 7/11 Japanese wine would taste only slightly better than Australian goon, express meals are not the freshest than in a supermarket. 7/11 made product is also not cheaper than other brands, sometimes even more expensive. If you have an opportunity to buy products in a supermarket, go there instead;
  • SUPERMARKETS HOURS – important to know. None of the Japanese supermarket will be open until 10:00-11:00am – this is normal opening time for many businesses in Japan and don’t get surprised – THE COUNTRY OF THE RISING SUN sleeps longer than we do. If you plan healthy version of your breakfast, go to the supermarket late night – you will get your yogurts, fruits or proteins (sashimi, meats, beans) with a huge discount. They try to get rid of all today’s fresh meals by making huge discounts at night (around 60-70%). It is my option for breakfast as before 11:00am the only food you can find for breakfast is donuts, breads and burnt coffee;
  • Back to WINE topic – Japan loves import wine from South America. Argentina, Spain and Chilli – countries for good red wine to try in Japan pretty much everywhere; New discovery for me that has become my favourite – California Pinot Noir;
  • CIGARETTES can be purchased from vending machines on public streets (no one cares to check IDs);
  • If you are a MORNING PERSON and love going to parks, you may see heaps of Japanese people gathering in public parks to do gymnastics together at around 6:30am – cuuuuuute;
  • Every Japanese city has its unique SHRINES and TEMPLES.

Hakata is the home of Sumo Sport. Sumo is a Japanese style wrestling in an elevated ring. Originally performed in Japanese ancient rituals and festivals, it is now Japan’s national sports. At the same time, it is also considered as form martial arts. If you are after watching martial arts or boxing, you will enjoy this – Hakata is the home for this type of sport. If you end up in Fukuoka – book a ticket to watch the wrestling. Sumo Official Tournament (honbasho) is held regularly as follows: every year, during the first or second week of January, March, July, September, and November for 15 days.

BACK TO BEPPY

We have stayed in the Beppywan Hotels & Resorts. It is a bit away from the station, however, the shuttle bus operation was outstanding so we didn’t feel “left out” from the main area of the RWC. As I expected the Hotel has its own hot spring bath so I could experience traditional Oita Onsen without visiting jigoku or “hells” – geothermally heated water bubbles up to the surface as steamy ponds or sulphurous gloop.

We have visited Rugby fan village next day after arrival and watched one of the games there. Oita was put on the international map by the 2002 World Cup. The purpose built “Big Eye” stadium, somewhat reminiscent of a giant titanium turtle, was designed by the celebrated Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa (who also designed Toyota Stadium, the Wakayama Museum of Modern Art, Kuala Lumpur Airport and the New Wing of the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam).

Oita Stadium can be reached via shuttle bus from Oita Station. Oita Stadium (aka Oita Bank Dome; 大分銀行ドーム) is the home ground of J-League soccer team Oita Trinita. I believe this stadium was used for the Rugby game we watched – Fiji vs. Wales. 

I have to say that I haven’t expected this game to be so interesting. Wales did win, however, I have to give a huge credit to Fiji for their amazing performance. Never regretted attending this game!

Being a qualified event manager, I have to also note that the events operations and logistics at the end of the event was nit great at all. Crowed control (considering we had over 33,000 people at the stadium) was not planned – a lot of annoyed and frustrated people were leaving stadium nearly breaking fences. Japanese police couldn’t do much. Instead of opening a few stream lines for people heading to the buses taking them down to the main JR station, they closed the main road for taxis and made people walk long walk to the bus station. Not quite logical. Why not to let all these busses to come closer to the stadium and consequently collect crowds one by one? 

Anyways, apart from disappointing post event operation, that day was the highlight of the whole Oita stay.

FUNAI CASTLE

We had just a bit of a time to visit Funai Castle before we had to the game. The castle did belong to Otomo Sorin. Hid clan was a powerful one in Kyushu who during the first half of the 16th century gradually expanded their control over neighboring warlords. When Otomo Sorin became the 21st Otomo Daimyo in 1550 he continued to expand Otomo territory and eventually the family were known as the Lords of Seven Provinces.

A castle was built at Funai in 1562, but many sources credit Fukuhara Naotaka with its construction in the last few years of the 16th century, but the main keep was built by Takenaka Shigetoshi in 1602.

In 1656 a branch of the Matsudaira took control of the castle and remained there until the Meiji Period.

Most of Funai Castle burned down in 1743 and the castle was decommissioned in 1872.

All that remains today is the moat and outer walls, two towers that were reconstructed in the early 1860’s, and the stone base of the keep. In 1965 the main gate and turrets were restored, and in 1996 the covered bridge was reconstructed.

The Japanese built LED version of the castle – as soon as the sun goes down, you are able to see its “ghost version” that is displayed and visible across the centre of the city.

Script Writer – Life Creator

It is impressive how you can swim against the tides but still end up where you haven’t planned to be.
I believe that there are things that meant to happen regardless your will.
I believe that it still doesn’t let you to ignore the responsibility for your own life.
Imagine you are a script writer for a Hollywood film 🎞 – would you carelessly let a new movie script to be another fiction rubbish?
What if you are a film director of that rubbish – do you really want to sign your name off for that?
What if you are a producer of that film – you don’t want to invest your money in rubbish, do you?
Imagine you are writing ✍️ a script 📝 for your life – you don’t want this to be a rubbish.
When you have a pen and a paper to write up a script – go after your dreams there, not people.
Right sketch of your script will do its job for you and will cast the right people in your life.
Do not forget that you still hold that pen and paper – you can re-write it when needed. Also, keep in mind that some casts might want to leave your new creation as it’s not part of their plan. But it is the plan for your dreams – well, then you know what you do.
Get in and out – part of your life. Natural flow – the real beauty of life.
Blog is like a mini version of that script – you can create whatever you want and it will attract likes from right people.
I’ll finish this post to start writing my script.

~Loud Thoughts By Me

Fash + Fit

It was a bit of a risk to combine two different industries and expect a good result. 

Fashion – the word associated with runways, glamour, style trends. 

Fitness – Health, gym, marathons.

They are different so how can I really pitch them to be together? I can explain:

Attitude

Coming back to my previous topic about motivation – who are you training for? For yourself? To impress someone else? If you set up the right and healthy attitude, you train to look good for yourself. You want to look healthy, fit, skinnier or toned – all depends on your personal goals. Now, let’s take Fashion. If you are interested in Fashion, you probably have or aim to have a good sense of style and after important Fashion trends. You pay an extra attention to what you wear when you come out. You are getting ready before an important business meeting. What do you need Fashion for? Same thing again – for yourself? Impress someone at one event? Wear someone glamourous for horse races at Randwick? 

You start with the right attitude. You understand that things you build in life starts from you. If you have ever had an experience to move to another continent when you are a teenager that doesn’t know what she wants, you might come to realisation that you have to build self base before you can build something else in life. I cannot build my life looking at someone’s one – I need to look at what I do. I cannot get impressed by someone’s achievements only – I need to set up something for myself each month to feel I am moving. 

Attitude by @Angela_alina

When you go to the gym, you may notice more and more people are “dressing up” to the gym. Not literally. But trying to wear right sports gear, good active lifestyle brands, etc. Many fitness blogs suggest to wear “cool” gym wear to boost motivation to exercise more. I can definitely see the link between those two. You start with the attitude. You want to see yourself successful, fit, healthy and stylish. It is not a secret that you might be toned and skinny and look quite sexy but if you wear a dress that look like a bag for potatoes on you, your toned body disappears. And, of course, you can buy the most expensive suit from the best Italian designer – it probably looked so gorgeous on the runway – but it looks ugly on you because your body is poisoned with junk food, lack of movement and first signs of ageing.  I like to see and promote more on my page fashion in fitness.

It is not only wear something trendy at the gym but wear Fashion and Fitness within you..

Protect Your Personal Space

We live in the world of constant interaction. 

My life consists of 24/7 unstoppable interaction experience; meeting new people, going on events, communication over social media and, finally, writing the blog which is also a sort of interaction. I have unpublished blog that I keep for myself for now..it is also interaction…with myself. 

Realisation of a big influence of all these social aspects of my life made me become very protective of my personal space. It is that my own world that I keep to myself and not willing to share with anyone.

You say it sounds like another selfish [loud] thought from me. 

Depends how you look at it. 

When you want to stay alone for some time to recharge yourself, shuffle some of your thoughts, go on a long walk and do not really worry to reply on numerous messages; it is the way to come back to people you love and respect, to the rest of the society refreshed, happy and spread your energy and positivity on them. Is it that selfish? 

You shall understand the importance of your own space. 

Collaboration with Adela Catalina and Hari Menon, published on @Angela_alina

This is your mental wellbeing. Do not forget that you are the one in charge of it, not the society. 

People say that your lifestyle and behaviour habits you had when you were a child make the final decision on how you are going to behave when you have grown up. I can see the link here between protection of my own space and the way I was raised. 

When I was little, my family made a big effort to protect me from anything that can hurt me, sometimes not even given me an opportunity to make my own mistakes. However, you cannot avoid mistakes and live in a protected bubble. One day you come out and explore the world, so I did it at the end of my teenage life.  

I was controlled – of course, how can you assist your child to avoid mistakes without controlling their actions? – Typical Russian system of raising the kids.

Therefore, one day I invented wings and flew away. I protect my social freedom from that moment. 

I think it was good timing with everything though. I can see how some of my high school friends who were giving a lot of freedom to explore the world when they were little made them forget to explore themselves. I was not permitted to do many things I wanted to do, and explore something that other teens could do. Therefore, I had enough time to explore myself until I turned 18.

However, there is one thing that I got out of my childhood experience. I won’t let anyone to enter my personal space without my own permission. Only people who respect it can surround me. 

#LoudThoughtsByMe

EXTERNAL vs INTERNAL 💚

Big topic is about motivation. What makes you to look after yourself?

Think what type of motivation is actually dominant in you

Is it something internal? Or are you doing it to look good for someone ? How about a scenario when that someone is gone? Nothing and no one is permanent – that’s what I believe in. 🤷‍♀️ What are you going to do when your external motivator is no longer around – will you ruin what’s you worked for ?
It’s not selfish to be good for yourself, to choose health for your own lifestyle. 🍃

Someone might judge me now (perhaps, judging not just now – all the time) saying that it’s too much of self love here – well, if nothing is permanent, why then is it a selfish move to work on your internal motivation?

I’ve seen some of my friends in the past who made an effort to be liked by someone..guess the outcome..broken hearts, self hate, aggression and depression.
🌟🌟🌟
The way how you feel about yourself inside influences people like a magic stick; it’s proven, it works..
🌟🌟🌟

You need to check what type of motivation is dominant in you. I am not saying you need to just focus on your intrinsic motivation; however, make your passion and goals are independent from external influences.

It might be hard at the beginning and don’t expect it will happen straight away. It takes long months (some people require even longer) but the result will make you feel free in some ways.

Blog by Social Media

I never wanted to be a strong person at some point of life..then I realised I wouldn’t achieve what I achieved without some strengths. When you are weak, people will hurt you and this is why you need to have some sort of self-spirit to take a bigger step towards you dreams.

I used this concept on my fitness journey and I am proud to have results I have. Why not to apply this to other aspects of your life? Happy to chat about this idea!

Protein Pancakes 🥞

Pancakes 🥞 are a little piece of my childhood. Running around with boys (hence, my nickname was the boy 😆), playing football (or, I’d say trying to do it), then came back home and enjoyed best ever family made pancakes 🥞 
Great times! Obviously, pancakes are very high carbohydrates calorie food and I forgot a moment when I enjoyed some last time.. There is only one way to enjoy my pancakes, healthy & guilt free! Thanks, Blackbelt Protein @blackbelt_protein for sending me fantastic gift and help me discover my guilty pleasure from childhood in a healthy way #healthychoices

Repost from @BlackBelt_Protein

I like easy but nutritious breakfast. When you have just done intensive workout in the morning, it is crucial to have breakfast enriched with protein.

hree forms of proteins are included in the BBP pancake blend. Milk Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, and Egg white powder. Pancakes Include vitamins B1, B2, B6, C,D & E and 74 trace minerals which provides bone, joint & digestive health benefits. Great for an intense cardio workout!

Original post from @Angela_alina

Best way of preparing BlackBelt Pancakes that I found is

Mix 65g powder with an 150ml almond milk.
Toppings:
Pancakes already honey flavored so it’s good to add a teaspoon of honey
1 medium size banana
100g protein fat free yogurt 
A bit of cocao

Enjoy! Feel free to share your best Pancake recipes here 🙂 🥞🥞🥞

http://blackbeltprotein.com.au